October 27, 2018 – Saturday, 7:31 pm
What a week this has been. Before I continue fleshing this one out, I actually started the post about my experience with Walmart and Fedex, earlier today. It was originally intended for a social media “status post”. Then, I felt it was not quite finished, and should be included as part of this blog. So, bear with me, this is going to be a rather long one, daughters. As an aside, I just finished preparing a banana nut bread, now in the oven. I have not baked one in years, but you know how it is when those bananas you bought have been in your home long enough to spark-up your baking gene, because they are way pass the point for even a smoothie. ;-) On top of that, I decided to get the best bang for the buck out of my relatively new oven, and decided to bake a cornbread, as well. So, I will be popping up in a while to go check on them. To that end, you might want to get your favorite beverage (coffee, tea, water, juice, etc.) and prepare to spend the next several moments reading through this one. If the kids/grandkids are running around, you might want to save the reading of it, until later; unless, you are like me and can claim calm in the midst of most storms. For me, this can only be obtained with a healthy dose of pleading the blood of Jesus over me and the situation, deep breaths, and a mindset that is refocused on the LORD. Amen.
This week started off great with another dynamic church service from the opening prayer, praise and worship, to a Word being delivered in due season, spoken by my pastor, Timothy Russell. Before he spoke, he called me up front, along with two other women in the church to reiterate, in my case, and announce in their case, the start of new ministries. Their ministry will minister from a Godly standpoint, to mothers, who have lost their children and are grieving. Pastor Tim explained that we, as a church body, are there to meet all the needs of our members, even in the area of the emotional healing. He did not know it, but I was going through a time of reevaluation on the “service delivery model” if you will (a hold over term from my many years spent as a Speech Therapist in the public school setting), on how the ministry itself needed help to run more smoothly. This ministry was founded on prayer, obedience and the Word of God; therefore, prayer, obedience and God’s Word will continue to be the fuel needed each step along the way. I had a meeting coming up with my board, this Tuesday, and the LORD was speaking to me about it. Since the ministry is at its inception, it is the perfect time to continue to set-up the foundation that will bring God all the glory!
We have all heard the definition of insanity, which is to keep doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result. Well, since sanity is hard won and even harder to maintain, in some of the situations we go, have gone, through, I cling to mine, faithfully, with the LORD’s loving grace and mercy. When I stood there, along with my other sisters in Christ, to be prayed over, again, this time by my other pastor, Victor Cervantes, I realized that it was confirmation of a new start. He prayed for wounded daughters, who would come to the ministry, to receive healing for traumatic things done in their own homes. When I heard him say that, it resonated in my own spirit. That is what this is about, not healing those things done to us by strangers, but by the one, in most cases, the one who gave birth to us, whose care we were placed in to be nurtured to womanhood, more whole, than broken. By that I mean, there is some amount of brokenness in all of us, as a by-product of being covered in flesh and being born into a world of sin. Then, Pastor Tim preached, and the Holy Spirit began touching hearts, minds and souls all over the church. It was a clarion call to action, fully laced with a heart set to burning, in the need to, not only listen but, be consciously obedient to what God has been calling us to do, with the lives He has so richly blessed us with, while still on this earth. I left there floating and fully ablaze, with an intimate type of love that I can give no words, too – not now, maybe not ever. Amen!
Earlier in the week, Pastor Tim, let me know that he and his wife, Vanessa, who have a radio spot of KFAX radio called, “Equally Yoked” had mentioned this ministry on the program that would be on-air today. I was blessed to be able to tune-in and gain even greater insight from the teaching Sis. Vanessa was giving on soul ties, and how they were not just formed from sexual contact, but from intimate contact. Negative soul ties, to me, brought back to the mind, the definition of insanity – to keep associating with something that, or someone, who is negatively impacting your life, even when you have become aware that, that is the case. They touched on soul ties between parents and their children; and, how negative actions, messages/programming, lead to all sorts of issues in adulthood. Then they mentioned our DRAMA ministry, its purpose along with when and where it takes place. God is awesome! Is He not?
Following that program, I sat down and began to write this portion of the blog, fully intending to just place it as a status message on a social media site. I will leave you to read it, now, as I add what insights the LORD gave to me when I finished writing it, at its conclusion. Here we go! I just went through a nearly week long process of having an item charged to my online Walmart account, that I did not purchase; and, after checking online, I found out that I was not the only person this has happened, too. So, this post is being done as a warning – a real one, from a real person, me! ;-)
Long story, that can only be shortened slightly – someone hacked my Walmart account online and since I had it set up to automatically charge my credit card, the thief decided to order a big ticket item (a laptop totaling almost $1650). I found out, when I received the confirmation of the order through email. Now, this is the other part. Before that email arrived, I received almost 200 emails in my inbox and almost 4000 in my “spam” folder, all at once! While I was deleting all of that mess, I noticed, early the next morning, when more email stuffed my inbox, though not as many as before, that I have one from Walmart. Since I actually shop with them, I opened it; and, bam, I find out I have ordered a new laptop, which I know I did not order. I immediately went to the site to cancel the order. I also check my credit card account, and thank God nothing else had been charged to it. For whatever reason, the cancellation request is left pending. Then, I get another email the next day saying it has been shipped and will be here, today. Now, I find I have to submit a return request, which I promptly did, because, surprise, surprise, it can no long be cancelled. So, the wait begins. As I am waiting on the package, today, you know the ones with no real delivery time – just that it will be here by 8 pm. While constantly checking Fedex to track its progress, I see about an hour later in the afternoon, that it is being held up in an office in Hayward. As I am trying to figure this out, all online, I see the address to receive the package has now been changed to San Francisco, for a Tuesday delivery. What a mess. Next step, call Fedex and get it rerouted back to me, right? Wrong! Understand, this is the first “real person” exchange, that I have had since this all began. This actual verbal exchange, almost caused me to blow my top. First, I was told what I already knew and had previously explained to the call center guy. Then, he asks me to give him a minute to check with someone else. Almost five minutes later, I get the response that went something like this, “Oh yeah, I can see the address you listed as the ‘old one’ on your account, but it was changed to a new one today, online – with stress on the last word. I, in turn, with voiced raised, at this point, state the obvious, at least to me, that I am a live person, speaking to a live person, seeking a real solution to a nearly 2k problem. Instead, I receive the same explanation, again, with an added, “I am sorry but…” I asked to speak to “the manager” or someone, who is authorized to help me; and, this poor guy just ignored that, and kept repeating himself. I finally just silently hung up, because he kept telling me that only the shipper could change the address, and I kept asking him, if he was telling me that the shipper was the one, who has developed this process, to steal merchandize! That just left him even more confused, so he just kept repeating the same information, over and over, again By the way, I was also on Fedex online, while talking to him and the only thing I could do was put a hold on the package, not change the address; so, how do thieves do all these things? The only thing, I can think of is, it must be an inside job, somewhere along the line. I had also previously changed my password, and reported the card as stolen, since I did not know whether this was isolated just to Walmart, or they were just getting started. Then, I called Walmart’s customer service number, prayed and held my breath. Within three minutes the problem was solved and the package has now been rerouted back to Walmart. Praise the LORD!
To sum up my thoughts, after I finished writing this, I thought about how the “Old Michelle” would have responded in this situation, and how there were times when parroting my mother’s “take-charge and take no prisoners” attitude surfaced, at times in my life, to get something handled the way that I thought it should be handled. It was not nice and it certainly was not always pretty; but, I would walk away feeling triumphant. It has been many years since I operated in that manner, but if I am not vigilant, she can certainly pop back out, and handle her stuff. Then, that leaves the “New Michelle” convicted, and sent back to make amends in some way. Thank God, that has not been me in a long time.
To be completely honest, the reason I learned to be polite to people, is because I did not grow up seeing that very often, in my own home. My mother would “get someone told” in a minute, and then walk away. I remember being in the store with her, after a teller did something wrong in her estimation, and “got told”, but as I walked by, trailing behind my mother, I saw the hurt look on the cashier’s face and it hurt my heart. I was just a child, so I had to keep walking; but, I never forgot that look. After that, I began to exercise patient and politeness with those in service jobs, especially. Was I always successful – no way! Once I got saved, I learned what conviction felt like, and I did not like that at all. I also didn’t like having to apologize to other people; especially, because I could not/would not rein in my own actions. Thank God, for I was beginning to learn the power of the tongue to heal or to harm.
I speak life to your hearts, souls and minds, fellow daughters, as I continue to allow the LORD, more and more access, to those deep places within me, where the “old me” is chumping at the bit, at times, raging to get out. For, we must all know that the battle is not ours, it is the LORD’s – surrender, listening, and obedience are the keys.
Check this out! I took both of the baking items, mentioned earlier, out of the oven, a while ago. But, before I considered them fully baked, they each had to pass the “toothpick test”. Fellow bakers know that when you poke a toothpick into your baked bake goods, if it comes out clean, it is done. Let the Holy Spirit continue to poke and prod us, as we remain in our own personal ovens/furnaces, to obtain complete healing, and may He not give up on us, until we come away clean. Hallelujah and Amen!!!
James 1: 19 - 26
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.